Papers: User needs and preferences elicitation

Large-Scale Needfinding: Methods of Increasing User-Generated Needs From Large Populations

[+] Author and Article Information
Cory R. Schaffhausen

Department of Mechanical Engineering,
University of Minnesota,
Minneapolis, MN 55455
e-mail: schaf390@umn.edu

Timothy M. Kowalewski

Department of Mechanical Engineering,
University of Minnesota,
Minneapolis, MN 55455
e-mail: timk@umn.edu

1Corresponding author.

Contributed by the Design Automation Committee of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF MECHANICAL DESIGN. Manuscript received September 11, 2014; final manuscript received February 13, 2015; published online May 19, 2015. Assoc. Editor: Carolyn Seepersad.

J. Mech. Des 137(7), 071403 (Jul 01, 2015) (11 pages) Paper No: MD-14-1561; doi: 10.1115/1.4030161 History: Received September 11, 2014; Revised February 13, 2015; Online May 19, 2015

Understanding user needs and preferences is increasingly recognized as a critical component of early stage product development. The large-scale needfinding methods in this series of studies attempt to overcome shortcomings with existing methods, particularly in environments with limited user access. The three studies evaluated three specific types of stimuli to help users describe higher quantities of needs. Users were trained on need statements and then asked to enter as many need statements and optional background stories as possible. One or more stimulus types were presented, including prompts (a type of thought exercise), shared needs, and shared context images. Topics used were general household areas including cooking, cleaning, and trip planning. The results show that users can articulate a large number of needs unaided, and users consistently increased need quantity after viewing a stimulus. A final study collected 1735 needs statements and 1246 stories from 402 individuals in 24 hr. Shared needs and images significantly increased need quantity over other types. User experience (and not expertise) was a significant factor for increasing quantity, but may not warrant exclusive use of high-experience users in practice.

Copyright © 2015 by ASME
Your Session has timed out. Please sign back in to continue.



Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 1

Summary schematic of study 1 and study 2

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 2

Study 3 user interface for entering needs

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 3

Summary outline of prompt matrix

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 4

Study 2 comparison of stimulus types

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 5

Study 3 needs submitted for each help type

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 6

Study 3 diminishing returns with increasing help (lines at 90%, 95%, and 98% are shown)

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 7

Needs submitted by each expertise group (group sizes, n, are shown)

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 8

Needs submitted by each experience group (group sizes, n, are shown)

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 9

Distribution of needs submitted per person across expertise groups

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 10

Rates of need entries for studies 2 and 3 (line at 90% shown)




Some tools below are only available to our subscribers or users with an online account.

Related Content

Customize your page view by dragging and repositioning the boxes below.

Related Journal Articles
Related eBook Content
Topic Collections

Sorry! You do not have access to this content. For assistance or to subscribe, please contact us:

  • TELEPHONE: 1-800-843-2763 (Toll-free in the USA)
  • EMAIL: asmedigitalcollection@asme.org
Sign In